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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
John Hardly absolutely beautiful guitar work (108* d) RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work 18 Feb 10

When I saw the opening post and went to the link, the very first thing that crossed my mind is..."These guys ought to see my friend, Rob's take on this"

...and then I saw the link in the very next post.

Rob is an amazing guitar player. And humble as the day is long. He's been a professional musician since his pre-teen years -- starting out playing banjo professionally. Later, he taught himself on guitar with the same analytical method by which he'd taught himself banjo.

I went to his first workshop up at Elderly Instruments. He started out the workshop by simply taking requests -- any song. The participants started by requesting jazz standards, but Rob said, "You know, as long as I've been playing professionally, I probably have a arrangement for all these -- I'd be expected to be able to play them. Ask me for songs you don't think I'd have played before"

And so, warming to the game, we started asking for kid's songs, hard rock songs, novelty songs. If Rob knew the melody, he could play it -- completely harmonized too. He be mid song and ask someone to call out a key. He'd change immediately to that key. He would change styles -- chet, travis, freddie green, he'd play anything any way.

He's the most phenomenally versatile instrumentalist I've ever known.

Perhaps the most amazing demonstration he gave was that he has the ability to pick out notes as fast as he can "scat" them. Meaning, there is no delay between the speed of his thought and the ability to find that note on the fretboard. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I've seen guitarists who will scat and play at the same time -- but always pre-arranged.

And, again, you'll never meet a more humble man than Rob Bourassa.

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